Delightful debbie and some dottie angel frocks………….

orange floral dottie angel frock with a blue cardigan

A couple of months ago in the Summer I bought the dottie angel frock pattern and spent the next few weeks sewing up a fancy new frock for every day of the week…..I’m in the middle of re-drafting some more changes to the pattern as I’ve got fabric waiting to be cut for 3 or 4 more frocks, and there’s some beautiful fabric in two local department stores which seems to whisper “buy me buy me” every-time I walk pass them.

I’ve mentioned before I’m not one for having her photo taken, I’m not sure what’s worse, seeing a spider scuttle and scurry across the carpet or having someone say “smile” as they whip out a camera or phone, both bring on palpitations….anyway, I’m lucky enough to have a very kind friend called Debbie who is a similar size to me (well I’m all pancake boobs and wobbly bottom while she’s all lean and toned from cycling and running (…the other year she cycled from Edinburgh to Norwich just for the pleasure really of being out on her bike)….but we’re about the same height and these dresses seem to cross over a couple of sizes.  I was able to persuade her into doing a little frock modeling for me behind our house, not sure what our neighbours thought if they were looking out of their windows as I had her whipping frocks off by the hedgerow though she had a vest and leggings on underneath so the goings on weren’t too improper.

orange floral dottie angl frock with an orange cardigan

I really like this orange fabric (John Lewis in the sale)…the pretty floral print means I can pick up colours to combine and offset against the orange (see the blue cardigan in the top picture) or go for the full “you’ve been tangoed” effect with the orange cardi.

I made a couple of alterations to the original pattern as I found the neckline wasn’t sitting quite right on me so I raised the shoulder line nearest the neck, this pulled the dress up a little, and also raised up the neckline itself in the centre.

I didn’t find the tucks to be so flattering for my shape (pancake boobs) and found sewing ties at the front with a fabric strip on top of them seemed more pleasing.  I also narrowed the skirt of the frock as well as I found this made it hang down a bit nicer (I’m all bottom and the extra fabric wasn’t doing ones posterior any favours.)

Normally I’d have given these a little press with a hot iron before wearing them but I was all slumicky this morning and just bundled them up in a basket before heading out with my camera.)

blue rowan fabric dottie angel dress

I’ve made all the dresses the same, doing away with the little tucks and having the ties right in the centre instead (the ties pull and gather through the fabric band and then knot and tie together at the back)

As well omitting the tucks I also did away with the pockets as I preferred the dress with out however I saw this lovely one with pockets and binding in the same fabric and now think maybe pockets may appear on a couple of these.

I originally bought this Rowan fabric to back a piece of patchwork into a quilt, however even after washing it couple of times, it felt a bit heavy for hand quilting so saved it up for this pattern especially.  I usually wear it with a light  green cardigan though I’m thinking the orange one wouldn’t go amiss either.

vintage gold dottie angel dress

On “Tah Dah-ing” my boyfriend wearing this, he turned round and asked “is that a pair of curtains?”….wasn’t the response I was after however I think he has a point.  Of the seven frocks I’ve made this one is the only one I’m not so fussed with, which is annoying as that fabric was a right pain to sew being all slippy and wanting to slide onto the floor the whole while I was sewing it.

It’s some of the vintage stash lovely Sylvia gave me and is proper dress fabric (not curtain fabric thank you) and I’m wishing now I’d saved it for a more fifties style frock, one with a fitted bodice and almost dirndl style skirt (love those dirndl skirts,) and then used a nice mustard cotton lining from Merchant and Mills…..oh well.  It’s not all bad, I can re-use the fabric as the lining for Christmas Stockings but all the bindings sewn on the hems will just be chopped up for cushion stuffing…unpicking those will be too much even for me.

blue charity shop fabric dottie angel frock

This was the first dress I made, even after making 3 toilles it still came out a bit roomy (room for two helpings of pudding at the front….I ended up bringing in the pattern along the central line nearly an inch, and the same decrease along the back line.  The other dresses are a better fit but this is still nice and comfy (in the Summer when we handful of scorchers then it was lovely and floaty.)

It’s also a bit harder to combine with that many colours, I’m not normally one for dark blue but this looks better when I’m wearing it with a variety of green cardigans and I have a sparkly yellow one I think will brighten it up (though that is a bit scratchy on bare arms so thermals will be needed underneath)

The fabric was a proper charity shop treasure, about 3 meters of fabric for £1.  I originally bought this fabric  years ago and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been tempted to put it out and charity shop it myself.

It’s making me laugh looking at these pictures and if Bek is reading this then I know she’ll be smiling too as Debbie isn’t really a dress wearing lady so I do appreciate her letting me dress her up today in these frocks.

front view of the green floral dottie angle dress

I bought this fabric as soon as Tif told me her dress was going to be a pattern.  In between buying the fabric and having the pattern I had a a couple of hospital visits and one of them involved wearing a little gown that was almost identical to this print…so now when I wear it I worry people will think I’ve wandered out from the local hospital.

It’s quite a light green fabric and looks best worn with a green cardigan (I love green cardigans and if my knitting ever improves enough it will be the first garment with sleeves I create on my needles) as any other colour seems to overwhelm it rather.  However it looks particularly fine worn with my Kenny Everett leopard print leggings (each time I wear them I can’t resist doing the little dance)

There’s not enough fabric left for another dress but there’s enough to turn up in my patchwork so there’ll be a few blocks for “dear ethel” made using this print.

back view of the green floral dottie angel dress

As well as raising the neckline of the dress at the front, I also raised it up a tad at the back.

I like a nice big bow so made the ties a little longer than the pattern required.

Normally “Lydia the tattooed lady” here keeps her ink well under wraps so it’s quite a treat for me to see her colourful tattoos.

vintage green fabric dottie angel dress

This is possibly my second favourite dress, the fabric was from Jenny’s Haberdashery stall in the St Gregory’s Antique centre on Pottergate in Norwich (I rarely go into the city without popping in and coming away with a reel of thread or a bag of tapestry wool)

The fabric was rather slippy to sew and I ended up hand sewing the hem, turning it over with the point of my needle so it rolled over nicely.  All the bindings and even the thread were of an equal age (if not older) to the fabric so the colours matched very well.

In the picture the front band looks like I’ve sewn it on drunk, it’s just how we’ve tied the dress, in “real life” it’s not squiffy at all.  I wore this the other day with a gold cardigan and it looked great.  I like dark green and along with the orange shoes really covet a nice dark green pair.

grannies paperweight scarf using tapestry wool

And this time it’s finally me, wearing my number one favourite dress.  The fabric was in the John Lewis sale and I made the dress for about £6.00.  At the time I was sewing it my Bernina sewing machine was playing me up and I had to sew this on a hand turning machine.  I mentioned using vintage bindings on the dark green dress, but when I stop and think about it, all the frocks have been sewn with bindings and seam coverings from antique and junk shops, most are 1960’s and older.

I love this print because I can mix lots of different colours with it, orange, yellow, grey and chestnut.  It’s also the dress I’ve been stopped the most about and asked where I’d bought it.  There is something very lovely about being able to say “oh, I made it myself”

I’ve combined it with the grannies paperweight scarf I finished off a couple a weeks ago….it’s a riot of colour and I think will go with just about anything. It’s made from mostly vintage tapestry wool sourced form antique shops/junk shops/jumbles/car boots and charity shops.

It’s been blocked and hand washed in fabric conditioner so is nice and soft, though it was a tad warm to wear today as it’s very warm being all wool.

I don’t do Instagram but if you do then pop over to #dottieangelfrock…as there are loads of amazing dresses that other people have made using this pattern.

And thank you Tif for drafting up a lovely pattern, one that’s pretty simple to make and seems to flatter a multitude of body shapes.

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17 thoughts on “Delightful debbie and some dottie angel frocks………….

    1. Thank you…it was so much fun dressing Debbie up. After the photo shoot we went foraging (which included almost doing ourselves a mischief bopping under a fence) so she cycled home with a panier full of wild fruits and some sour dough starter for Ian xx

      1. Thank you…sorry i missed you when you were up the other weekend. Debbie got the chance to sample the bread and various jams for breakfast, and then I made a vegetable soup for lunch as we were pretty hungry by the time we got back from foraging…(we also got called “girls” by some bloke who was like the same age as me so we got to have a bit of a “grrr…we’re women” grumble but only after he’d walked off as we were too busy picking sloes at the time to worry….I used a couple of the apples we picked Saturday in yesterday’s sourdough, just washed them and then chopped them up so the bread is flecked with little pink pieces of apple peel.

      2. All sounds lovely (apart from the patronising man!) Sorry we didn’t get to see you too – hopefully next time! We still want to visit Norfolk April time and try again to see a Swallowtail butterfly 🙂

      3. That would be great, I’ve seen lots of Red Admirals and Peacocks in the garden, and some beautiful little blue ones, they look like wisps of the palest blue silk flittering around the garden. Very pretty indeed. But not seen a swallowtail since I was very small x

    1. Thank you, I’d sleep in the scarf if I could as I love. I’m just writing up a scarf post with pictures…some of the scarf was made without taking pictures so I’m having to re-make some hexagons to show a particular stage, and I’m trying to work out how how yarn is re-quired….(not easy)

      1. I have some tapestry wool so it would be interesting to know how much you needed for your scarf. Looking forward to your write up. PS I bought the dress pattern last night because I liked your dresses so much. Funny thing is I have never sewn any clothes before. Steep learning curve me thinks.

      2. Check the sizes on the back of the pattern, the American sizes are a bit bigger than UK ones, and I’d suggest making the first one in dressmakers calico (Merchant and Mills sells it if your local sewing store doesn’t). It sounds like a pfaff but my first one was hand sewn (not in the tiniest stitch, more like small tacking stitches) then when I needed to alter it is was easy to un-pick, and depending how bosomy you are, drop the tacks about an inch lower. I’m a bit pan-cakey chest wise and they were high for me. I’ll try and get a post up on my toilles I made if you think that would help x

      3. Thanks for the tips. I like the idea of starting with a calico one to get the shape right. Have you tried the Bettine dress? I might start with that as it is for beginners. Any help much appreciated!

      4. Although I studied Fashion and pattern design at college (many years ago) it’s been ages since I’ve sewn clothes for me (though when I did I made my own patterns) prefering nowadays to make frocks for my little nieces..however the dottie angel dress has got me wanting to now make all my clothes. It’s not hard, but it uses a couple of techniques not so everyday, like french seams which aren’t hard to do and which you won’t often see used in the high street, and rather than have “facing” around the sleeves and neckline, they are turned over and bias binding is used. If you’ve not sewn clothes before then you won’t have any “bad habits” to lose so I would recommend it as a first dress. The pattern itself is nice and basic and you don’t have darts or anything like that to try and match up.
        When I was at college we always made calico toilles, and would make little half testers for collars and different types of darts and seams over the bust, it really helped me understand how a flat piece of cloth is shaped to fit over our lumps and bumps.

    1. Thank you, the curtain one looks a lot better in the picture, maybe it’s becasue the fabric has been washed a few times, I’ll give it another wear but I think it is destined to become lining fabric for Christmas stockings x
      That pattern definitely needs to be bought for you, maybe with a John Lewis voucher so you can splurge and get some nice fabric (their post CHristmas sale is always good) x

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